RV Maintenance Tips for the DIY!
In Episode 56 I explain the importance of understanding how your Power Awning can be retracted in an emergency. The emergency is usually when you want to leave in your RV and the Power Awning won’t come in. That poses a real problem. I break it down by the awning manufacturer. This applies Only to 12 volt RV Power Awnings.
Dometic/A&E 9100 and Weatherpro Awnings are the same when it comes to retracting them if the motor has failed. The process to override the motor and bring the awning in is the most effective if the awning is fully extended. There is a reason for this being necessary. The awning roller tube has three grooves in it and one of them is for a Pull Strap to be inserted to enable you to be able to control how the awning retracts. You should have the Pull Strap, if not you will need to purchase one from any RV Parts Store and you can use any Pull Strap for a Dometic/A&E Manual Awning. A Carefree pull strap will work as well.
The 9100 or Weatherpro awning will need to be extended for you to insert the pull strap into the available groove on the Roller Tube. The rear of left end of the roller tube has a Torsion Assembly with a spring on it used for tensioning. You need to be aware of that so you understand how the awning operates. Before you do the next step you should have a person holding the awning pull strap to keep the awning from retracting out of control. After the strap is attached you will loosen the Hex Head Screw on the 12 volt motor that is located on the front of the awning, also called the right side. With the screw loose you can walk the awning towards the RV. To lock the awning in the closed position tighten the screw on the motor, the same screw you loosened to retract the awning.
Carefree of Colorado have their own unique spin on retracting an awning with 12 volt drive motor problems. It doesn’t appear that there is a simple solution to retracting a Carefree power awning with a bad motor. If there isn’t 12 volts going to the motor it is a little easier to work with. In this podcast I explain the process to manually override and a couple models of their awnings but not all of them. Carefree has about 8 different power awnings on RV’s. Carefree just can’t help themselves when it comes to reinventing their own awnings. Not all of their awnings are available at the retail level, some only come on new units and they are referred to as OEM models. Currently they have 4 Vertical Arm Awnings, 3 Lateral Arm Awnings and 1 Box Awning. Although, they are similar in how to override them, they are all a little bit different. Usually with a little know how you can overcome an obstacle just by a little examination of the motor and how it is attached. That is why I am including a link to Carefree’s website for you to download your manual and get a much better understanding.
Carefree of Colorado Awning Instructions:
Solera has got this figured out! On the Front arm where the motor lives there is a rubber plug in the motor cover. You pop the plug out and run the awning in or out by using a 7/16” socket on a cordless drill and pull the trigger. It goes kind of slow but, it is a life saver compared to Dometic and Carefree of Colorado. There is no reason to see a manual on how to perform this procedure, it is really that simple!
I highly recommend that you perform the manual override on your awning to become familiar with it so you can save your own hide when the fails or to assist a fellow RV’er. The Dometic/A&E and Carefree certainly are good awnings they just aren’t as friendly when the motor fails the day you want to pack up and leave.